Pericellular PO2 and O2 consumption in monolayer cell cultures

E. Metzen, M. Wolff, J. Fandrey, W. Jelkmann*

*Corresponding author for this work
126 Citations (Scopus)


The current study was based on the uncertainty as to how well monolayer cell cultures growing in customary polystyrene dishes are supplied with O2. For dishes maintained in an air-5% CO2 atmosphere at 37°C, microelectrode measurements revealed that the pericellular steady-state PO2 was 78 mm Hg in confluent bovine endothelial, 110 mm Hg in rat renal mesangial, and 0 (<0.2) mm Hg in renal (LLC-PK1 and LLC-MK2) or hepatic (HepG2, Hep3B) epithelial cell cultures. These measured PO2 values were in good agreement with those calculated from Fick's law of gas diffusion, applied for the present culture conditions (one-dimensional O2 diffusion, 0.52 cm medium height), the individual cell layer density and the tissue-specific rate of O2 utilization. Our results provide reasons to speculate that conventional monolayer cultures are often hypoxic when incubated in an air-5% CO2 atmosphere. Diffusion-limitations of cellular O2 availability are to be taken into consideration when tissue cultures are used to study PO2-dependent processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 05.1995

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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